The #1 business school in Canada, the Rotman School aims to be a world leader in the development of innovative business education. Rotman has all the advantages of its global peers, plus a bold vision that can't be found anywhere else: an innovative approach built on Integrative Thinking and Business Design.
One of the weaknesses of the traditional approach to business education is that business problems rarely lie within the boundaries of functional areas, and cannot be resolved using the narrow models developed within those boundaries. Today's business problems sprawl messily across the functions creating a need for managers who can think and act across the boundaries of their knowledge and experience. In short, modern leadership requires Integrative Thinking and Business Design.
The Rotman School trains our students to think across domains of thought, and across the functional silos that are ingrained into the curricula of most business schools. Our students receive a solid grounding in all the functional areas of business, but they also learn how to go beyond them to consider the big picture, approaching each challenge with creativity and a willingness to take risks. Our curriculum is constantly evolving, with the introduction of new courses, content, and approaches. We are developing a new way to think, and we invite you to be a part of it.
What thought leaders are saying about Rotman
More valuable than what the Rotman School says about itself is what the world's thought leaders and media say about us:
"The need for change is real, and the blueprints are already in process. One of the most distinctive blueprints being developed is at the Rotman School. In addition to discipline-based courses in areas like Finance and Accounting, first-year students now take 'Fundamentals of Integrative Thinking', which focuses on understanding and analyzing how people use [mental] models in their everyday lives."
-Lane Wallace, The New York Times, January 10, 2010
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"[The Rotman graduates I hired] seemed to be naturally free of the bias or predisposition that so many of us carry into any situation. They brought a set of skills in how you query and look into an issue without moving toward predetermined conclusions that has led to unexpected discoveries of opportunity potential innovation."
-Steve McConnell, Managing Partner, NBBJ in The New York Times, January 10, 2010
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"Innovation entails imagining a process, product or service that doesn't yet exist. It's a creative function, and minds long trained to focus on efficiency and numbers-based goals aren't even close to being in the right frame of mind. This is a major argument made by advocates of ‘design thinking’ [including] Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management."
-Lane Wallace, The Atlantic (August 25, 2009)
“I’m so pleased to be back at Rotman and to have a chance to collaborate with this amazing school that is making such terrific strides and becoming one of the best business schools in the world.”
-Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor and Director, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School
(Speaking at the Rotman School, June 2009)
“The pace of change and innovation is just accelerating. Knowing something is not going to help you anymore. [Today's managers] need to dynamically respond to what needs to be done. That’s what the Rotman School is teaching, and it is what will keep people relevant in tomorrow’s world.”
-Nandan Nilekani, CEO, Infosys Technologies
(Speaking at the Rotman School, May 2009)
"In the ancient world, if you were interested in philosophy, you went to Greece. Today, if you’re interested in business design, you go to Rotman.
-Prof. Jeanne Liedtka, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
(Speaking at the Rotman School, April 2009)
Design thinking has much to offer a business world in which most management ideas and best practices are freely available to be copied and exploited… Look to hire from interdisciplinary programs like the new Institute of Design at Stanford and progressive business schools like Rotman, in Toronto.”
-Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO, in Harvard Business Review, June 2008
“Integrative Thinking has fuelled the [Rotman School’s] rise to a highly regarded program that gets mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Yale, Stanford and Kellogg. If the world of business education can have celebrities, Roger Martin is Canada’s biggest.”
-Canadian Business magazine, March 31, 2008
"Rotman, well-known outside Canada for its eponymous business magazine, also attracts plenty of attention from recruiters at big corporations in the UK and US as well as Canada."
-The Times (London, UK), October 11, 2007
"Some business schools and other interdisciplinary graduate programs are now entering the fray under the banner of ‘design thinking’. They have recognized that the creative principles found in design can be used to develop new solutions for business—and they see this as the next cutting edge. They are distilling the essence of the thought process that arose from the craft of the traditional schools of design. The Rotman School in Toronto, the d.school at Stanford, and the Institute of Design in Chicago have been the boldest in claiming this new territory. "
-Harry West, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Continuum, BusinessWeek Online, October 2007
“The dynamic character of today’s Rotman School of Management at UofT has to mark one of the more rapid and radical transformations in the annals of North American business education. The current sense of urgency at Rotman is personified by the likes of Richard Florida, the high-profile U.S. urban-studies guru recruited by Rotman Dean Roger Martin last summer.”
-David Olive, Business Columnist, The Toronto Star, September 20, 2007
"As Roger Martin has stated, business people need to think like designers. The success of Apple and other design-friendly companies has demonstrated that there’s a premium on giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing. Design has become a fundamental business literacy, and hats off to the Rotman School for figuring this out years before anyone else."
-Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, speaking to Rotman magazine, Aug. 28, 2007
"People who can make connections across knowledge gaps have a competitive advantage, because they see new combinations and alternative ways of doing business. That is what’s so brilliant about Roger Martin’s promotion of integrative thinking. The curriculum that is being put together at the Rotman School will create a competitive advantage for MBA students, in that they will be best able to recognize opportunities in the market as they develop."
-Ron Burt, Hobart Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy, University of Chicago School of Business (in Rotman Magazine, Fall 2006)
"The reason why it’s so exciting that the Rotman School is so deeply committed to uncovering the mechanisms of Integrative Thinking is that we are at a really interesting ‘threshold moment’ right now, when innovation is beginning to give up its secrets. If we can learn to uncover the mechanisms of success, simply put, we can do fewer of the things that cause failure and more of the things that cause success, and the whole world will progress at a greater rate."
-Larry Keeley, Co-founder and President, Doblin Group (Chicago); Named one of seven 'Innovation Gurus' by BusinessWeek (in Rotman Magazine, Spring/Summer 2006)
“What the Rotman School is doing under [Dean] Roger Martin’s leadership is helping to redefine the MBA for the future. It is incumbent upon us to reinvent the MBA for the Creative Economy, and now, at Rotman and a few other places, people are beginning to figure out how to do that. Rotman is the business school that I keep my eyes on, because what [they are] doing is trying to re-invent the MBA for the 21 st century; and Lord knows, we need it!"
-Richard Florida, author of The Rise of The Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class (in Rotman Magazine, Spring/Summer 2006)
“A handful of enlightened business school deans – such as Robert Joss at Stanford, Dipak Jain at Kellogg and Roger martin at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School – are starting to preach the gospel of integrated thinking, cross-disciplinary studies and learning-by-doing.”
-Simon London in The Financial Times, November 16, 2005
"Students on a fast track to Bay Street choose Rotman for its proximity to the core of Toronto’s elite business community. More than 90 per cent of graduates find jobs in high-paying consultancies and financial services firms three months after they leave Rotman, and recruiters flock to this high-profile school to fill their executive ranks with talent."
-Canadian Business Magazine, October 24, 2005
“Rotman’s program aims to help MBA students learn how to build new, flexible models better suited for a globalized business world. The unusual approach seems to be working. While many B-schools are experiencing a decline in applications, at Rotman they’ve been up 30 per cent since 2001.”
-BusinessWeek Online, September, 2005
“Roger Martin is the leading proponent of design thinking at business schools. He doesn't mean merely teaching students about the importance of cool-looking stuff. He sees value in the designer's approach to solving problems -- the integrative way of thinking and problem-solving that can be applied to all components of business.”
-Robert Berner, BusinessWeek, August 1, 2005
“Managers who want to ‘get’ the new innovation paradigm should check out [Rotman’s] MBA and execed programs.”
-Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek Online, March 2005
“Design keeps popping up as a core driver of competitive advantage and innovation. An essential part of this revolution is the idea of design as a metaphor for the future of work. We don’t need to understand designers better, writes [Rotman Dean] Roger Martin, we ‘need to think and work like designers.”
-John A. Byrne (now Executive Editor, BusinessWeek), Fast Company, June 2004
“Design has become an undeniably transformative force in business and society. Roger Martin says as much in a recent essay when he writes that design ‘has emerged as a new competitive weapon and key driver of innovation.’”
-Bill Breen , Fast Company, June 2004
“What the Rotman School is doing may be the most important thing happening in management education today.”
-Dr. Peter F. Drucker, speaking at the Rotman School, June 12, 2002